David J. Thompson

Graceland

Holy shit. Jesus came back.
Yeah, no kidding. He showed up
at Graceland in Memphis.
People started gathering around him
outside the gift shop as he waited
for his tour to begin. God gave me
some time off, Jesus told everyone,
so I came here as fast as I could.
I’ve been an Elvis fan forever –
skinny Elvis, fat Elvis, every kind
of Elvis. Nobody can sing like Elvis –
rock n’ roll, country, gospel . . .
Goddamnit, he was the real King.
That got a round of applause 
from the growing crowd,
but Jesus, always comfortable
talking in public, wasn’t done.
And his movies, he went on,
aren’t they great? I mean, seriously,
all that coded gay stuff in Jailhouse Rock,
the corny songs and dance routines,
and the sixties chicks like Ann-Margret 
and Shelley Fabares. That shit’s awesome.
We watch those all the time up in heaven,
even the crappy ones like Kissin’ Cousins
and Harum Scarum. Jesus stopped then 
for a second to exchange high fives 
with some of those pushing up close to him. 
And the clothes, he continued, if I had worn 
a cool jump suit like Elvis in Las Vegas,
those asshole Roman soldiers who nailed me 
to the cross would have really gambled 
for my clothes. Everybody cracked up at that, 
then Jesus excused himself, hurried over 
to get in line with a bunch of Korean tourists 
for the van ride across the street to the mansion.
The last thing people saw through the window
was Jesus waving goodbye and adjusting his headphones, 
for once now just another humble pilgrim headed for a holy site.

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